Sunday, August 9, 2015

Dead River – August 8, 2015

Waiting for the shuttle
Sometimes it doesn't pay to play it safe. At least that's what happened to me yesterday on the Dead.

I wasn't able to run the Dead in June or July, and knew that things would be busy in September, so decided to head up to the Forks for the August release. I wasn't sure who I would paddle with until I saw that Charlie Sweet was leading a trip for the Boston AMC. It turned out to be a small group (Charlie, Rich, Josh and me), but all open boaters.

Rich does some surfing
With the large group of MVP'ers at the Forks for Family Step-up Weekend, the shuttle took forever. We finally got on the road around 10:00, and got to the river about 45 minutes later. With two trailers attached to the bus, they stopped at the top and made us carry down the hill. We finally got on the water around 11:00. 

The release was 2,400 cfs with another 100 cfs coming from Spencer Stream - a nice class II/III. We ran through Spencer Rips, Minefield and a bunch of other unnamed rapids before stopping for lunch at Hayden's. After lunch we ran Hayden's, Gravel Pit, Elephant Rock, Mile Long and Upper Poplar in quick succession. Before we knew it, we were set to run Lower Poplar.

Charlie below Minefield
I followed Rich into Lower Poplar taking a middle right line along the seam of the rapid. About a quarter of the way down, Rich went left into the rapid, but I went right along what I thought would be an easier line into the rock garden. Before long, I got hung up on a shallow rock and flipped. Fortunately I was close to shore, so I was able to get my boat to shore quickly. Soon I was back in my boat and finishing the run, but like I said, sometimes it doesn’t pay to play it safe. 

We were back in the campground around 5:00 - a six hour run that was a lot of fun.

Kelly runs the slot at Elephant Rock
Links:
My Pictures
Spencer Stream Gage
River Description from American Whitewater

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